Connect with us

2018 F1

2018 Canadian Grand Prix: Free Practice Analysis

Published

on

  • 38
    Shares

Spread across the Ile Notre-Dame in the St. Lawrence River, the picturesque Circuit Gilles Villeneuve can throw up quite a few challenges for both teams and drivers. The temperatures being one of the lowest on the calendar means different tyre management techniques and a power sensitive characteristic overall means a lot of upgrades brought here by the engine suppliers.

Both the free practice sessions today were interrupted by red flags, brought out by Renault drivers Nico Hulkenberg in FP1 and Carlos Sainz in FP2. However the driver at the top of the time-sheets of both sessions was Max Verstappen. The Red Bulls looked strong in the sprint runs while the Mercedes looked good when it came to their race trim mode.

Speaking of upgrades and aero updates, there were a few changes noticed on the grid. As far as engine upgrades go, barring Mercedes all three suppliers Ferrari, Renault and Honda brought their engine upgrades to this power hungry track. With Renault one can see the difference maybe on the McLaren and Red Bull, both seem to be competitively quick around this circuit.

As far as aerodynamic development is concerned Ferrari had some revised bargeboards, while McLaren featured their triple nostril design nose. The Woking based squad featured the unique nose in Barcelona but did not risk running it in Monaco; however one could see the difference in performance of both their cars in Canada.

While FP1 is only the first yawn of the day when it comes to performance, a title favorites Ferrari were seen building their momentum towards FP2, after an average start to the day. However, the highlights of FP1 were the McLaren’s who looked fairly competitive in qualifying trims on the hyper soft tyres. Along with the orange outfit were their Renault powered counterparts Red Bull Racing who seemed to be most comfortable with the pink tyre, as seen in Monaco. The only team to not run the pink striped compound in both sessions, have been Mercedes who have brought only five sets of the tyre to this circuit, the least compared to the rest of the grid.

In the sprint runs in FP2 Red Bull Racing again looked strong with Verstappen as fastest and Daniel Ricciardo finished the session as the third fastest driver replicating the morning result. Sandwiched between the two blue cars was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who was second fastest and was seen carrying out most of Ferraris qualifying and race trim simulations. The Finn complete a total of 41 laps and was the busiest man on the circuit, which is more than half of the race distance.

Ricciardo had to sit out for most of the session, due to electrical issues with his power unit and went out during the last 30 minutes of the session, in last ditch effort at getting mileage on his car. Similarly Sebastian Vettel too had the least mileage on his car due to a problem that arose from FP1, where he touched the wall and had to change the front suspension.

While the hyper soft tyre seems to suit the Red Bull Racing cars and the Ferraris, one will only know how good the Mercedes are on the same compound, when they run it in the FP3 session before qualifying. Nevertheless, the Silver Arrows team did manage similar times on harder compounds such as the supersoft and ultrasoft tyres.

The only surprise tomorrow can be if the Ferraris use their upgraded power unit, and it ends up being a bazooka. In terms of long run pace, Mercedes looked the most competitive on the supersoft and ultrasoft tyre, where their average is the the fastest in race trims. As far as Vettel and Ricciardo go, although one can get a rough idea of Vettel’s average best over four laps, calculating Ricciardo’s average best was impossible due to his short stint. The Australian did not complete enough of laps to be able to calculate an average, and his stint was a mix of qualifying and race simulations within the last 25 minutes of the session.

Here’s a chart of the average times of the top three team drivers on various compounds used through the second half of the FP2 session:

Driver Hypersoft Ultrasoft Supersoft
Max Verstappen 1:16.688s (7 laps) NA 1:16.311s (4 laps)
Kimi Raikkonen 1:16.257s (4 laps) 1:16.675s (7 laps) NA
Lewis Hamilton NA 1:16.282s (8 laps) 1:15.651s (3 laps)
Valtteri Bottas NA 1:16.881s (6 laps) 1:15.944s (6 laps)
Sebastian Vettel 1:16.464s (4 laps) NA NA
Daniel Ricciardo NA NA NA

One cannot discount the Ferraris in FP3 or qualifying, since their normal routine is to have an average Friday, send the data for simulation to the headquarters in Maranello, and by Saturday they are normally at the top or second fastest. As far as the current two sessions were concerned one would place them somewhere between the Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of long run pace. And in terms of qualifying, one of the two Ferraris should be in contention for pole.

The obvious contenders for pole positions would likely be Verstappen, Hamilton and Vettel, but the fight between the top six will be closer than expected. As far as the mid-field goes, McLaren could be leading the pack, at least in the qualifying session. While Renault have had a troubled Friday, it is difficult to place them in the pecking order with their current times, however Haas could have a surprise in store if they get they manage to repeat their FP2 performance.

Since the inception of the hybrid era, Mercedes has claimed pole position at this Canadian circuit, while Lewis Hamilton has claimed six pole positions here in his whole career. It will be interesting see if Silver Arrows continue their winning streak and extend their lead over Ferrari, or their record is broken and winning streak is paused at their favourite circuit.

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F15 hours ago

Red Bull drivers expect Honda progress in 2019

38SharesRed Bull’s 2019 drivers do not expect Honda to have a field-beating engine at the beginning of next season. Pierre...

2018 F15 hours ago

Renault CEO arrested in Japan

38SharesCarlos Ghosn, the top executive of the Renault F1 team’s parent car manufacturer, has been arrested in Japan. State prosecutors...

2018 F16 hours ago

Friends know nothing of Schumacher condition

38SharesEven Mick Schumacher’s closest racing friends know nothing about the condition of the 19-year-old F3 champion’s famous father. The entire...

2018 F16 hours ago

Williams set to announce Kubica on Thursday

38SharesWilliams looks set to announce Robert Kubica as its second driver for 2019 this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Journalist Cezary...

2018 F11 day ago

” Mick must be incredibly strong to do the same job “- Alain Prost

38SharesAlain Prost is expecting Mick Schumacher to step up to Formula 2 in 2019. This year, the son of Prost’s...

2018 F11 day ago

Prost ‘not unhappy’ Red Bull deal ending

38SharesAlain Prost says he is not sad that Renault’s long collaboration with Red Bull is finally ending. The two parties...

2018 F11 day ago

Ticktum, Albon in doubt for Toro Rosso seat

38SharesA new question mark hangs above the second Toro Rosso cockpit for 2019. Daniil Kvyat has been signed up already,...

2018 F11 day ago

F1 boss Carey visits Rio de Janeiro

38SharesRio de Janeiro has emerged as a potential future F1 race host. With Interlagos to be privatised and Liberty Media...

2018 F11 day ago

Alonso not ruling out F1 return for 2020

38SharesFernando Alonso is not ruling out a full-time return to formula one for 2019. Disenchanted with the category, the double...

2018 F11 day ago

Hulkenberg aims to beat Ricciardo

38SharesThe arrival of Daniel Ricciardo is an important piece of the puzzle as Renault pushes towards the front in F1,...




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media